OUR MISSION: To Share the love of Christ
St. Barnabas is within the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego which includes 50 churches in San Diego County, Imperial County, southern portions of Riverside County in California, and Yuma, Arizona. It is located in the small desert town of Borrego Springs, California, surrounded by the beautiful Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The beauty of our desert creates an atmosphere of quiet and serenity.
The church is a beautiful California mission style building with a parish hall, rectors office, court yard and labyrinth. There is also a rectory. Both buildings are fully paid for and the church is debt-free with a fund for capital expenditures and a small endowment fund.
The congregation is made up of approximately 100 members. Winter attendance is around 50, dropping to about 35 in the summer months when many snowbirds head north. Most of its members are retired though some of the younger members work in the community. Growing our church is one of our challenges. As older members leave the community there is a need to attract new and younger members.
There is one service at 9:30am every Sunday. We use primarily Rite II of the Book of Common Prayer as well as seasonal sacramental liturgies.
Services are supported by lectors, chalice bearers, greeters, and our altar guild who also handle the flowers.
Special services include Lessons and Carols at Christmas, Easter Vigil and traditional services during Holy Week. There is also a community Easter Sunrise Service.
Fellowship follows each Sunday service with refreshments provided by parishioners. This is an opportunity for all to socialize and extend hospitality to visitors.
This has included bible study, lectionary preparation, and book and film discussions.
Pastoral Care: Eucharist is provided to those who cannot be present at Sunday worship due to illness or infirmity. Hospice trained volunteers also assist.
- We fund a yearly camper at St. Stephen's summer camp in Julian
- We support Beautify Borrego, an effort to keep our desert pristine
Our members are active community volunteers as school tutors, at the Chamber of Commerce, as state park docents, members of various boards and Rotary and other service organizations.
We support many activities through a twice yearly bake event and a Talents and Treasure event once a year.
Parish facilities are available for community use and at this time Alanon, a cancer support group and hospice training meet there as well as the healthful support group Younger Next Year.
Music for worship is provided on the church�s Allen Renaissance organ and occasionally includes parishioner musicians on the trumpet, piano and violin. There is a small choir, averaging 8 to 10 members each Sunday. It is not a performance choir, but a supportive choir for the congregation�s participation in our liturgical music which is essentially traditional. Both the organist and the choir director are volunteer positions.
The Carillon is our monthly publication for members and friends via e-mail or mailings. It informs parishioners of church activities and schedules, plus reports on the vestry and various committees. It usually has pictures of recent activities, a poem and a small want ad column. Our website is our internet connection with the rest of the community.
THE NOW AND FUTURE ST. BARNABAS
What are the greatest opportunities awaiting St. Barnabas and how will the church come to embrace those in the next five years?
These were questions asked of the Parish when the work of designing a profile was first initiated. The responses reflected the �can do� spirit of a congregation which began meeting in a private home in the not so distant past.
By far the strongest hope which emerged in those discussions was the need for a leader who will help grow the church both in numbers and in diversity. Activism in the community and a deliberate effort to reach the unchurched of Borrego Springs will be an important component of that goal.
As noted in our description of the town, there are many organizations in need of volunteers and St Barnabas; parishioners are in the forefront of serving such needs.
One dream that has been extant since the founding of the Parish is the establishment of a Retreat Center on the campus of St. Barnabas. Since the closing of St. Paul�s Monastery in Palm Desert several years ago there has been a great need for a place where groups and individuals can go to experience renewal, meditation, and the beautiful peace of the desert. As was once so widely said, �Everyone needs time in the desert every once in a while.�
What will St. Barnabas be in the next five years or, in other words, 2014?
According to the consensus of today�s congregation, St. Barnabas will be a strong, Christ-centered force in the community of Borrego Springs with a cohesive group of strong lay leaders led and trained by a Rector who leads by Christian example.
He/She will be dedicated to building up an inclusive congregation by reaching out to our Hispanic population, who make up half the population of Borrego, and to area youth, many of who are also unchurched.
St. Barnabas will continue to build on her record of social action, adhering always to Christ�s directive to �Love one another and feed the poor.�
The very foundation of the St. Barnabas of the future will continue to be based in Love: Love for one another and Love for the stranger at the door, no longer a stranger once he/she passes through the portals of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Borrego Springs, California. Back to Top